2020 Nissan Juke review: price, specs and release date
The original Nissan Juke SUV was a big sales hit despite having some equally big flaws. Can this all-new, second generation car right the wrongs without sacrificing character?...
Priced from £17,395 | On sale November 2019
Like Jesus is the saviour of Christians, the Nissan Juke is the redeemer of Nissan. At the start of this century the brand was in the doldrums; fading faith in its regular hatchbacks meant it needed a bold new vision. So, it took a huge gamble by scrapping them all and preaching that what you needed was to worship at the altar of high-riding models, such as the Juke. And what a conversion it proved to be, with sales resurrected.
To be honest, though, the outgoing Juke is far from blessed. Its looks are as polarising as religion itself, its ride as uncomfortable as a bed of straw and its tiny rear seats fit only for David; Goliath has no chance. None of that mattered at first, because there were few competitors, but today small SUVs are ten a penny, from the Seat Arona and Volkswagen T-Cross to the new Renault Captur – a rival rather close to home. That’s right: for the Juke’s second coming, Nissan is using the same mechanicals that underpin the Captur.
The only engine confirmed so far is a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol. With 115bhp and 133lb ft of torque, 0-62mph is said to take 10.2sec – roughly in line with the 1.0 TSI 115 versions of the Arona and T-Cross. Emissions are also expected to be competitive (they're still to be confirmed), ranging from 113g/km of CO2 for the six-speed manual and 111g/km for the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Diesel won’t be forthcoming, but there’s a strong chance that a hybrid will. What makes us so confident? Two reasons: Nissan doesn’t deny it (always a good sign) and Renault has already confirmed that there will be a plug-in hybrid Captur. Nissan’s engineers don’t rule out a fully electric Juke, either.
2020 Nissan Juke interior
The new Juke is slightly shorter overall than the T-Cross, but there’s more distance between its front and rear wheels. This gap is also massively increased over the old model, and it simply means more room for people and things inside.
There’s leg room aplenty up front, and while the T-Cross has more rear space, six-footers can fit in the Juke without their knees jamming into those in front. Under-seat foot space is excellent and head room decent, despite the sloping roofline.
Furthermore, the boot is 20% bigger than before, at a competitive 422 litres, and comes with a height-adjustable floor that can negate the load lip and create a completely level deck when the 60/40-split rear seats are folded flat.
The driving position is also hard to fault. There’s lots of adjustment, including a reach as well as height-adjustable steering wheel for the first time. And despite missing lumbar adjustment, the stylish sports seats are very comfortable. Our only criticism is that you have a lever to adjust the backrest angle with a set number of positions, rather than a rotary dial that would allow greater precision.
How about interior quality, another of the old car’s weaknesses? From what we’ve seen it’s the best of any Nissan to date. It could even be class-leading; the dashboard is soft to the touch (the Arona’s and T-Cross’s are hard and unforgiving) and even the cheapest model gets an attractive mix of materials, including metallic, glossy grey panels and silver roundels for the air vents.
Personalisation is a big part of the Juke’s remit, so it will be offered with three interior design packs. Urbanizer is a white theme featuring lots of faux leather and contrasting stitching, while ‘The Juke’ swaps white for orange, but the only one we’ve actually sampled is Midnight. This includes dark leather and Alcantara seats, swathes of Alcantara across the dashboard and doors, and gloss black surfaces in place of the metallic grey ones. It looks a cut above anything else in the class.
The infotainment is new, too. The blurry, laggy display from other Nissans is gone; in its place is a sharp, glass-fronted 8.0in touchscreen running new software. This is responsive and packed with features, such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 4G data connection that enables a wi-fi hotspot, wireless software updates, live traffic reports, Google Street View and more. But unlike some rivals, Nissan provides physical buttons for other key functions, such as the climate control – hallelujah!
2020 Nissan Juke driving
So far we’ve only driven a pre-production Juke on a test track, but it appears to be a big step forward dynamically. The steering feels far more connected than the old car’s, thanks to better weight and response. This goes hand in hand with tighter body control to make the Juke more stable through bends.
It also has an engine that’s flexible enough to match the equivalent T-Cross, so hilly roads don’t require endlessly flicking through gears.
Only the ride gives cause for concern; we’re yet to try the car with 16in or 17in wheels, but on 19in items (the biggest available) it’s pretty abrasive at times. Still, it’s important to remember that the new Juke remains a work in progress, with the engineers keen to point out that the feel of the brakes and manual gearshift are among the areas that still requiring tuning. That said, neither feel poor as is.
Page 1 of 2